Time for a ten dollar answer
By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON
Ernest Hemingway was known for his minimalist style and he used to pooh-pooh what he called “ten-dollar” words. Not to compare myself with Hemingway but I love strange and exotic expressions, so you’ll forgive me I’m sure when I say that public and private provision of social care has developed into a dichotomy which increasingly challenges our ideas of social justice.
A recent report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies says adult social care spending has fallen by 9% per person over the past decade, with cuts varying around the country but tending to be larger in more deprived areas. Over the same period growing demand has seen fees in private pay care homes, mainly in the southern half of England, steadily increase and corporate providers have been building enthusiastically, again mainly in the southern half of England, to meet this growing demand.
High school economics taught us that when demand exceeds supply, price increases and obviously, some of the demand will not be met; in other words some people are going to miss out. Now this might be OK when we’re talking about ice cream cones (which is the example my economics teacher used) but leaving social care to unregulated market forces and cutting public spend on social care during a period of growing demand is a pretty stark indication that social justice is well down the list of this government’s priorities.
Frail elderly and other vulnerable people up and down the country are being left to make do as best they can, which is a shame because I’m sure that if we were asked, we the people would countenance a greater proportion of Treasury spend going to social care.
It’s a “ten dollar” issue and Green papers, White papers, Royal Commissions and reports from commissioned luminaries are a dime-a-dozen.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.